As Jalen Ramsey will tell you, no cornerback in the last six years has gotten more accolades than he has: five Pro Bowl and three first-team All-Pro nods since entering the NFL in 2016, perhaps even being robbed of a fourth All-Pro roster because he was traded midseason in 2019.
No other cornerback of his era can really come as close as he can to claiming the title of being the top player at his position in the league from 2016 to 2021. Trevon Diggs was the other first-team All-Pro corner in 2021, but many have pointed out how many touchdowns and big plays he allowed. Xavien Howard and Darius Slay aren’t as consistent as he has been. Jaire Alexander and Tre’Davious White don’t have as many awards, as they’ve combined for only one first-team All-Pro roster. Upstarts like Marshon Lattimore and Marlon Humphrey have been unable to catch up.
By far, the only shutdown cornerback of the last five years to consistently rank among expert’s top-five cornerbacks in the league at any given time is Jalen Ramsey.
But in spite of all that respect, all the awards, all the honors, all the accolades, and universal praise for being the NFL’s most consistently-great cornerback... Jalen Ramsey feels incredibly disrespected. Why?
Because in an ESPN ranking of NFL cornerbacks—in which Ramsey was RANKED NUMBER ONE—literally one anonymous AFC executive said the phrase “a little overrated.”
AND YOU WAS THAT DUDE TOO! I just want people to start respecting greatness all around.— Jalen Ramsey (@jalenramsey) July 8, 2022
Ramsey went fishing for compliments on Twitter in reaction to what he perceived as the headline. Not that he was the top-ranked cornerback in the NFL, but that one person felt that he wouldn’t be as good in 2022 as he’s been for the last six years. And he got what he wanted, with not only an outpouring of support from the NFL fan community, but also from other accomplished NFL cornerbacks.
Including Richard Sherman:
I think @P2 and I can join the conversation. But you are the Standard right now! Its your time! Shine!— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) July 8, 2022
3x 1st team All Pro
1x 2nd team All pro
4x pro bowl
Int leader 2013
SB champ https://t.co/BEI29MB26T
No Question! You are demanding what you deserve! And you will get it. You are on the way to a gold jacket. Stay the course! https://t.co/rRbY5jXOYg— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) July 8, 2022
Leeb vs Ramsey— AqibTalib21 (@AqibTalib21) July 8, 2022
Aqib Talib 23 ints, 4 TDs, 1 Pro Bowl, 1 2nd team All Pro < Jalen Ramsey 15 ints, 1 TD, 5 Pro Bowls, 3 1st team All Pros, Super Bowl Champ!!!
You win my boy!!! LOL
And a day earlier, in a different search for hype, Darius Slay:
Go crazy than!!— Darius Slay (@bigplay24slay) July 7, 2022
As Ramsey himself noted, few other cornerbacks in history can feel as good about their six-year resume than he can going into year seven. All those honors that were bestowed upon him thanks to the fact that writers, players, coaches, and executives have voted for him as being one of the NFL’s absolute best players and clearly as the number one cornerback.
Even right now as we head into the 2022 season, with Ramsey set to get $23.2 million worth of respect—nearly $6 million more than second-place Humphrey.
Perhaps this is all part of the gameplan for Ramsey to hype himself into another early morning workout or late night study session. Playing cornerback in the NFL is only going to continue to get tougher as the league and opposing offensive coordinators continuously focus on how to increase passing yards, passing touchdowns, and quarterback-driven plays that make the game more popular with viewers.
Sure, it’s not the same way that it appears that Aaron Donald, Cooper Kupp, and Matthew Stafford seem to get motivated. But everyone is different.
If Jalen Ramsey wants to believe that he gets no respect, then I will respect that. If all it takes is one person to muse that maybe Ramsey isn’t the same player at 27 that he was at 25 to get him in the mindset to be an All-Pro cornerback again, then we might as well add fuel to the fire and say he’s finished!
Now let’s see if that works him into winning a Defensive Player of the Year trophy next season.